Mason Plumlee: Maybe Brook Lopez and I can be on the floor at the same time

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

There were two moments in the summer league that stood out as legitimate surprises, alley oops from Mason Plumlee, seven-foot center, to rookies Markel Brown and Cory Jefferson.  The one to Brown was spectacular, with Plumlee on the perimeter finding Brown coming off a baseline drive. The one to Jefferson may not have been as spectacular but very, very neat, showing off his court vision. Plumlee drove the lane and found Jefferson with a soft lob and slam.

It's something Plumlee thinks will help him play with Brook Lopez, not behind him.

"I think in the games from summer league I was able to show that I could pass the ball," Plumlee told Lenn Robbins in an interview published Thursday.. "If I’m able to play with Brook, and it’s not just an either him or me, maybe we can be on the floor at the same time.  So I wanted to show that I could pass big to big, that I could find people penetrating, that me putting the ball on the floor isn’t always about getting to the basket.

"I can make opportunities for other players. And those are things I’ve done at other points in my career. I didn’t do it last year."

Despite his All-Rookie Team designation and his fourth place finish in the Rookie of the Year balloting, there were a number of things Plumlee didn't do last year that he expects to do this year. For one thing, he wants to extend his range. Of the 302 shots he attempted last season, only 11 came outside of the paint. Of the 302, 116 were dunks.

"You'd laugh if you watched our high school team play," Plumlee said. "I hit a couple of threes every game in high school. It was a big part [of my game]. We played like VMI. It was just run and gun, shoot it. But things change.

"I get to Duke and they aren't looking at me to score. It's rebound, run the floor, put some weight on, get inside. So you just have to adjust. But it's something that can come back and I'm working at it. It's just going to take time."

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